Current Affairs

New airport retaining wall collapses

Around 30m portion of the newly-constructed retaining wall at the new airport terminal building at Dabolim came down on Wednesday afternoon. No one was hurt.

The cause of the collapse was not immediately known but it is suspected that it could be due to poor quality of work.

At about 12.30pm, the white-painted wall standing 4.5m tall, suddenly collapsed leaving 60m of the remaining wall hanging and cracked. The wall came down on the NH 17-B highway at Shantinagar.

On Wednesday evening, when the team comprising deputy collector Gaurish Sankhwalkar, Vasco Mamlatdar, officials from the BDO and the PDA, visited the site, they pointed towards the substandard quality of material used in building the retaining wall.

One of the officials reported “There was some empty space between the retaining wall and the footpath which was being filled and leveled for parking. The pressure of the mud while carrying out the levelling work must have made the already-weak wall weaker which resulted in the collapse, though a proper inspection will define the reason better.” There was also a JCB which was carrying out the filling work. When the wall came down, there were no vehicles on the road.

Sankhwalkar, meanwhile, briefed the South Goa collector over the phone about the same and he, in turn, directed the AAI to demolish the remaining portion of the wall as soon as possible as it may come down. A preliminary report by the deputy collector will be sent on Thursday to the collector.

The retaining wall was made ready and painted during the soft inauguration of the terminal building in December. The AAI, on Monday, started the arrivals at the new building and trials for departure, which was criticized by many including the Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida.

Almeida said, “If not now, the wall was sure to come down in July causing calamities in the town and havoc for all. We have been continuously urging to the AAI to take their own time to start the operations and not to create such chaos.”

Almeida informed that he would be speaking to chief minister Manohar Parrikar regarding the same against AAI.

On the other hand, Savio Messias, member of the airport advisory committee, said, “It is a result of the haste by which the AAI has been doing things. People are now raising doubts even about the safety of the new terminal building.”

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